Part of Middle Mountain in the George Washington National Forest,
and sister hike to the Duncan Knob Hollow Hike, the Duncan Knob hike offers solitude, a rock scrabble, and
great views of the Massanutten Range and Shenandoah Valley.
Water is scarce over most of the hike, so make sure to bring
At 1.3 miles come to a
four way junction and the yellow blazed Scothorn Gap Trail you
have been on turns left. Directly ahead is the orange blazed Massanutten
Trail, which you will use to return. To the right is Massanutten
Turn left on Scothorn Gap Trail, the trail gradually rises and passes a small clearing
before coming to the junction
of blue blazed Gap Creek Trail after 1.5 miles from turning left at
Turn right onto blue blazed Gap Creek Trail as it ascends steeply to the ridge line in 0.3 miles. On the ridge line is a white blazed trail on the left. This
leads you to Duncan Knob in 0.3 miles, requiring scrambling
over rocks in places to get there.
To continue the hike return
to Gap Creek Trail and Turn left. Note: it is easy to miss the trail
on the way back, the white blazes in the rock field are hard
to find. Just remain on the ridge line and you will reestablish
the white trail if you miss it.
Turn right on Massanutten Trail for 1.8 miles. Veer right steeply
upward for another 0.4 miles then descending 0.7 miles and returning
to the four way junction you turned left at on the way up earlier.
Massanutten Connector Trail turns left here.
on the yellow blazed Scothorn Gap Trail 1.3 miles, re-crossing Passage
Creek and returning to the parking area.
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Reviews For The Duncan Knob Hike (5 Most Recent)
I had originally planned to do this in combination with Strickler Knob, which is just a short addition on the way back from Duncan Knob via the Massanutten Trail. My plans almost went awry, however, due to a fork in the Scothorn Gap Trail that is not mentioned in the route description on this website. After hiking steeply upward for about a mile from the trailhead the jeep track suddenly levels out. The jeep track continues left, but there is a big meadow to the right and that is the true continuation of the Scothorn Gap Trail. There is a yellow arrow on a large tree at the fork that points in that direction but it is easy to miss since the natural continuation appears to be on the jeep track. I followed it and came to a big boggy area almost impossible to outflank. When I emerged with muddy boots I missed seeing a trail that diverged off to the left that was in fact a continuation of the Scothorn Gap Trail coming in from the right. Instead I continued on until I came to the junction described in the route description. I took the left turning believing it was the Scothorn Gap Trail, when in fact it was the Massanutten Trail leading in the direction of Strickler Knob. In fact, I had been on the Scothorn Gap Trail coming from the wrong direction, which is why I was confused. The left jeep track fork I had taken earlier had been a shortcut to the main Scothorn Gap Trail, which should be avoided because it is not only confusing but, as described above, extremely wet. At any rate, I soon realized my mistake and ended up doing the described route in reverse. I decided to give Strickler Knob a go. The beginning of the trail to Strickler is not hard to spot (there is a red circular disk on a tree) and there is a path all the way. Some commentators say that the reddish blazes have been removed. This is not true. They are obvious almost the entire way, as is a cleared path. I say almost the entire way because I did not make it all the way. I ran into a timber rattlesnake just off the trail (the first I have seen in the Blue Ridge in 35 years of hiking) not far from the end. I could have bushwacked around it but was unsure I would be able to spot it on the way back. So I continued with the rest of the described hike counterclockwise up to Duncan Knob. On the path from the Gap Trail to the Knob you have to scramble up some sharp boulders for about a hundred feet. It is not hard and not exposed but in the spring there are a lot of what I assume are pieces of leaves from the previous fall that are encrusted onto the rocks. Unpleasant. It is a matter of pure luck whether you can regain the path that runs from the Gap Trail up to the beginning of the boulder field so just make sure you come down at a right angle from the summit rocks. That will ensure you hit the Gap Trail which continues down to the Scothorn Gap Trail and back to your starting point. The view from Duncan Knob, by the way, was OK but not in the same league as Kennedy Peak just to the north.
Date of Hike: Saturday, March 30, 2013
My boyfriend and I are avid hikers and decided to take on this hike. We knew the main road to the trailhead was closed during the winter/late spring so we hiked 3 miles to the trail head from route 675. We wanted to do the whole loop but the trail was very muddy. I mean MUDDY. We are use to rugged trails but the mud was so deep we decided to just summit ....going up the white blaze. We had this mountain to ourselves which was great! The rock scramble was easy on the way up...but challenging on the way down. It is not marked. I suggest taking trail tape so you don't loose sight of the trail on the way down. We ended up bushwaking back to the trail, but someone with less experience in the woods may have difficulty. This is not a beginner hike...although the elevation gain going from 675 was not that big....
Date of Hike: Sunday, February 24, 2013
Access road to the trail head was closed when we attempted on Sunday 2/24/13. (Would have been a 3 mile walk just to get to the start of the trail) Sadly we didn't come w/ a map of the nearer areas to see what alternates were available (headed over to Big Schloss), so won't make that mistake again. Have heard good things about this hike and the nearby Kennedy's Peak. Come prepared w/ alternates!
Date of Hike: Saturday, February 16, 2013
Great Hike! I've done Old Rag, Sticklers Knob, White Oak Canyon, Hawks Bill, etc and this is now one of my favorites. The fire road was closed so we had to walk 3 miles to the start of the yellow Scotthorn Gap Trail - that was a bummer. It had just snowed so there was a blanket of snow on everything. We got to the summit and found the rock scrabble. It was a lot of fun working up it - the snow limited the amount of time we spent there though. The views are awesome and the best in the area.
We took the Massanutten Connector Trail back to the parking lot on the fire road. It was a nice trail back BUT we had to climb up the ridge before we got to the fire road. It was over 800 feet ascent in about .3 miles. Pretty tough.
Date of Hike: Sunday, February 03, 2013
Road closed on this day from both ends of 675 and luckily stumbled onto Kennedy's Peak which is just to the north and was a good replacement hike, only had one other small group all day.